By Kristin E. Pitt (auth.)
This publication contextualizes twenty first century representations of disappearance, torture, and detention inside a historic framework of inter-American narratives. studying a variety of resources, Pitt reveals a power specialise in the physique that hyperlinks modern practices of political terror to issues approximately corporality and sovereignty.
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Extra resources for Body, Nation, and Narrative in the Americas
Beij[a] o seio fecundo da esposa” (62) [“joyously . . kiss[es] his wife’s fertile breast” (79)], Iracema comes to be identified with the one characteristic of Brazilian nature from which she had previously been distanced: its fecundity and capacity for reproduction. Now a wife and a bearer of children, Iracema takes on the only role that the future nation-state is willing to afford her, regardless of the celebration of individual freedom heralded by ideologies of liberalism and in spite of the close relationship with land and nature that Alencar presents as a defining characteristic of Brazil.
Iracema does not extend its rigor to a récit, in spite of appearances; it f lutters above this development, essential to a romance, and it does not speak save through symbolic suggestions [and] poetic moments. (20) Privileging the beauty of discrete metaphors and the poetry of the narrative does allow the reader to overlook more easily the despair and untimely death that the heroine suffers through the hero’s casual neglect or the peculiar disappearance of the central characters’ offspring. However, such a narrowly focused reading diminishes the relevance of and the context in which such metaphors and poetic suggestions are judged beautiful.
It limits itself to speaking of emotions, clearly it does not attempt to step outside the heart” (“Nota preliminar” III: 226), suggesting that the historical references and battles are merely tangential to the lyric portrayal of an Indian virgin’s love. Augusto Meyer goes on to insist that in reading Iracema, we are before a poem, and as in all poems, the content is concentrated at each step in the magic of the rhythm and in the grace of the image, in the autonomous melody and in the self-sufficiency of each phrase; as fragmentary or incomplete as the work may remain, this does not diminish its charm.